Fusobacterium spp

From Dog
Fusobacterium necrophorum on agar culture plate

Fusobacterium spp are a commensal anaerobic zoonotic bacteria of the canine oropharynx.

Humans infection can occur as a result of dog bite wounds, with septic disease common.

These bacteria are commonly associated with periodontitis[1] in dogs, but systemic infections such as pneumonia[2] and osteomyelitis[3] (secondary to bite wounds) can also occur.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Fusobacterium nucleatum[4]
  • Fusobacterium canifelinum[5]
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum[6][7]

Diagnosis relies primarily on bacterial culture and identification, although PCR assays are definitive in most cases.

These bacteria are usually resistant to fluoroquinolones[8], except pradofloxacin[9], and sensitive to other broad-spectrum antimicrobials such as amoxycillin/clavulanate, metronidazole as clindamycin[10].


  1. Ferreira FB et al (2006) Root canal microbiota of dogs' teeth with periapical lesions induced by two different methods. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 102(4):564-570
  2. Krotje LJ et al (1990) Acquired myasthenia gravis and cholangiocellular carcinoma in a dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 197(4):488-490
  3. Johnson KA et al (1984) Osteomyelitis in dogs and cats caused by anaerobic bacteria. Aust Vet J 61(2):57-61
  4. Isogai E et al (1989) Oral flora of mongrel and beagle dogs with periodontal disease. Nihon Juigaku Zasshi 51(1):110-118
  5. Senhorinho GN et al (2012) Occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Porphyromonas spp. and Fusobacterium spp. in dogs with and without periodontitis. Anaerobe 18(4):381-385
  6. Amoako KK et al (1994) Studies on the factors affecting the hemolytic activity of Fusobacterium necrophorum. Vet Microbiol 41(1-2):11-18
  7. Jang SS & Hirsh DC (1994) Characterization, distribution, and microbiological associations of Fusobacterium spp. in clinical specimens of animal origin. J Clin Microbiol 32(2):384-387
  8. Conrads G et al (2005) Genetic determinant of intrinsic quinolone resistance in Fusobacterium canifelinum. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49(1):434-437
  9. Silley P et al(2012) Bactericidal properties of pradofloxacin against veterinary pathogens. Vet Microbiol 157(1-2):106-111
  10. Johnston TP et al(2011) Canine periodontal disease control using a clindamycin hydrochloride gel. J Vet Dent 28(4):224-229